As a seasoned estate agent in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, I have witnessed the ebb and flow of the property market over the years. From the post 2008-slump leading into a steady rise, punctured briefly by the Covid-lockdowns, to today’s peak prices per square metre. Right now, a combination of market conditions, local factors, and the wider global economy suggest that this winter season is a big opportunity for anyone selling Las Palmas property in 2024.
- Note that I am not suggesting that there is any sense of crisis in the Las Palmas property market. Nor do I want to convince you that you should sell your Las Palmas property. Instead, all I am saying is that if you plan to sell, start now rather than wait.
Winter is high season for buyers
Winter is always a busy period in the Las Palmas property market. The city is a magnet for foreigners and Spanish people seeking a respite from colder climates.
This influx of international visitors significantly increases the pool of potential buyers, enhancing your chances of securing a sale. People who have watched the market for months or years are now here ready to buy. Many are cash buyers.
Demand for Las Palmas property remains high
There are a lot of people living in Las Palmas, and many more who would like to call it home. The climate, European levels of security and healthcare, and laid-back lifestyle mean that the city is a magnet for property buyers.
The city also faces a chronic lack of new property. Very little has been built since the massive expansion of Siete Palmas and La Minilla over 25 years ago.
All this makes the current Las Palmas property market a seller’s market, especially in high-demand areas.
Prices are at their peak since 2008
Following the economic downturn in 2008, the property market in Las Palmas gradually recovered and is now approaching pre-crisis levels. The Canarian Institute of Statistics has reported that the average property in the Las Palmas province is at 1788 euros per square metre, the highest since 2008.
This figure does not take into account the effects of inflation on the euro between 2008 and 2023. Real prices remain significantly lower compared to incomes than in 2008.
The EURIBOR spike and its effect on Las Palmas property
Interest rates across Europe were at historically low levels between 2010 and mid-2022 before spiking upwards. While this increase now seems to have stabilised, the EURIBOR rate used to calculate Spanish mortgage rates is set to remain high for some time. The days of rock-bottom 30 year mortgage rates in Spain are over.
One consequence of this is that property owners with low 30-year fixed rates are reluctant to sell and lose their favourable conditions. That’s a lot of property that is effectively withdrawn from the current market.
Buyers are still adjusting to higher rates, or have been priced out of an upgrade or second property. There is a significant “wait-and-see” brake currently applied to the market. It’s also quite likely that prices in Spain and the Canary Islands will track those across Europe and start to decline. The number of transactions and new mortgages has already peaked.
Not when but who: The importance of estate agent expertise
If there is one thing that ten years experience and hundreds of sales in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria city has taught me, it is that the experience of your estate agent plays a pivotal role in the success of your property sale.
In Las Palmas, local factors affect desirability and prices in a huge way and it takes deep local knowledge and extensive experience to value and market property effectively.
Think this is an exaggeration? It isn’t! Good friends of mine found this out recently when they bought a property sold by an online agency at a 30% discount on the market price. Great news for them, not so great for the seller who “saved” on agency fees but sold their beachside property for 50K under its true market value.
My advice is to choose an agent rather than an agency because it is your agent who makes the difference. Interview several, ask questions, and test their knowledge and commitment. Expect complete transparency and honesty. Also remember that many foreign buyers are nervous about the process here in Las Palmas and really appreciate someone who can advise them in their own language.
Don’t just choose the agent that promises you the highest listing price because this is a sure-fire way to attract lowball offers. Many agents will list at an unfeasible price betting that you won’t change agents once you decide to drop the price. By then, your property has been sitting on the market for months and a sudden drop creates a sense of opportunity for buyers. It is far better to get the initial listing price rights and market well: The final sale price is almost always higher and the sale much faster.